Our team

our Staff

Kelly

They/ them or she/ her

Policy & Project Officer

Kel

Kelly is honoured to be SARAA’s first employee. She comes to the role with a background in policy, especially understanding how policy impacts marginalised communities. Between 2010 and 2018, Kelly was a Member of the Legislative Council for the Dignity Party. Now, she works three days a week at SARAA helping them to implement and run their Community Advisory Group, as well as assisting with policy drafting, social media, and whatever is needed to keep SARAA doing its vital work. Kelly is also the Creative Director of a new disabled persons’ theatre company, True Ability, and works on a freelance basis as a disability advocate, policy adviser, and public speaker. Kelly is proudly queer, disabled, and autistic.

our Board

The South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA) is governed by a volunteer Board of passionate LGBTIQA+ advocates.

Varo

They/ them

Chair

Varo

Varo is a queer non-binary bureaucrat by day, and fierce LGBTIQA+ advocate by night. 

Varo currently works in policy development and project management in health and social services policy at the SA Government. 

They have a broad background in law, politics and grassroots campaigning in the housing and international development sectors.

Varo holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor of International Studies and Graduate Certificate in Public Policy.

In 2021, Varo was named Out for Australia’s LGBTIQA+ Changemaker of the Year.

Holley

She/ her

Secretary

Holley Skene

Holley is a passionate health and human rights advocate who had worked in the field of sexual health for over 10 years. She holds degree qualifications in public health, community and not-for-profit management, social sciences and psychology.

Holley has a keen interest in the governance of community led organisations and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with experience on the Boards of various SA and National not-for-profits.

Holley is also passionate about LGBTIQA+ inclusive service design and delivery, and has experience in Rainbow Tick Accreditation in the health and community services sector.

Holley is a mum of 1 (+1 fluffy fur child) and loves spending time with family and friends.

Joshua

He/ him

Treasurer

Joshua

Joshua lives with his fiancé Sam (He/Him) in Port Pirie, and they love the country lifestyle.

Joshua is experienced in many areas of the community services industry focusing on disability over the past few years. Joshua’s experience as an NDIS Plan Manager gives him the skills to hold the role of Treasurer for SARAA. Joshua has experience in LGBTIQA+ community development and is an advocate for Organ Donation.

Joshua is a bit of a sports fanatic and he holds the position of President of the Port Pirie Bowling Club and the Secretary of the Port Pirie Squash Club. Joshua is involved with several other local sporting clubs.

Lucy

She/ her

Board member

picture of lucy

Lucy currently works with schools to increase support of LGBTIQA+ students & as an LGBTIQA+ Project Officer.

She has been working in the Adelaide queer scene for many years, having been a previous Feast Festival Board Director and coordinator of the Queer Youth Drop In. She has a Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Lucy is passionate about building inclusive spaces, recognising intersectional discrimination, and mobilising communities for action.

Cherrie

They/ them

Board member

Cherrie Rogers

Cherrie is a peer educator who advocates for the health, rights and wellbeing of South Australian sex workers.

After 10 years of lived experience in both the sex worker and BDSM community, Cherrie has developed a passion for raising awareness for marginalised communities and embracing intersectionality.

In their spare time, Cherrie enjoys flooding their home and office with plants and getting lost within some form of art or craft project.

 Charlotte

She/ her

Board member

Charlotte
Charlotte is a Proud Adnyamathanha, Barngarla, Yankunytjatjara Trans Sista-Girl and is one of the First Nations Representative of the board.
Growing up in and around radio all her life, she found her voice to speak up about First Nations and LGBTIQA+ communities and is on the airwaves both locally and nationally with the First Nations radio show Nunga Wangga Radio.
Charlotte is the Inaugural recipient of the NAIDOCSA LGBTIQ Person of the Year 2019 and is the 2021 Feast Festival Ambassador.

Charlotte is the inaugural recipient of the NAIDOCSA LGBTIQ Person of the Year 2019 and is the 2021 Feast Festival Ambassador.

Jess

They/ them

Board member

JB

Jess is a passionate non-binary and queer Mental Health Clinician who currently works for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Gender Clinic with Gender Diverse Young people and their families.

Jess is passionate about advocating for vulnerable populations and has worked within SA Health for several years developing an understanding of government policies and procedures.  Jess holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of South Australia and is particularly passionate about working with adolescents to promote positive mental health outcomes.

In their spare time, Jess enjoys staying active by cycling, swimming and regularly attending their local gym. Jess also values spending time with their partner, stepdaughter and two Italian greyhounds.

Leeann

She/ her

Board member

Leeann Friday

Leeann is an asexual, single parent of 3 amazing humans and proud LGBTQIA+ and disability rights advocate.

Having lived experience of disability Leeann is passionate about access for everyone to the experiences and adventures they want in life and navigating the systems needed to achieve this.

Leeann has qualifications in Health Science (Health Education/Health Promotion), Art Therapy and Community Development, she is currently studying Disability and Developmental Education and working in the South Australian community delivering workshops about Autism for families and educators.

In her spare time Leeann loves to be creative and crafty, when she is not deep in a game of Dungeons and Dragons or adding to her dice collection.

Vale Ian Purcell AM

1947 – 2016

SARAA acknowledges and honours the contribution of Ian Purcell AM to the Australian and South Australian LGBTIQA+ community over may decades of activism.

Ian dedicated his life to advancing the health and rights of LGBTIQA+ communities in South Australia. Fondly known as the “Godfather of the Gay Community”, Ian was the first Chairperson of the South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance and the GLHA that preceded it.

Ian was founding member of the Uranian Society, a cultural forum for gay men, and the lobby group Gay and Lesbian Community Action, which was formed to counter political and social conservatism at the height of the AIDS epidemic. He also represented the LGBTIQ+ community on various state government departmental committees, including the Ministerial Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Health and the SA Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Committee.

In 2005 Ian Purcell became a Member of the Order of Australia for his advocacy.

His wisdom and humanity will be much missed.

We owe so much to Ian and we hope to honour him by continuing his work.

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